salmon tartar + never going to a restaurant again.

Ok, ok, I'm not serious about the restaurant thing. After trying Le Bremner this summer, I could never make that declaration. But it is true that the more courageous you get in the kitchen, the less you'll be tempted to ever pay the jacked up prices in restaurants.

Early on in our marriage I mastered making my own pizza dough, and now we'll never pay for pizza in a restaurant again. What a great way to save money on food, right? Master something you'd normally pay for, and you'll never want to over-pay for it again. Of course this isn't always as easy as pizza dough. Doughnuts for example. They don't cost a ton but they're something I've never been able to succeed at baking at home, especially the deep fried variety (and is any other variety even worth it!?), and so I continue to pay for them.

Salmon tartar is another such meal, that I would happily pay for, knowing I couldn't make at home. Until I made it at home. AND GUYS. It was amazing. And so affordable!

For a massive 200g serving of salmon tartar, it cost $6. At a restaurant it would probably have been $30.

My friend Audrey inspired me to give it a try, promising it would be easy and delicious, and she was right on both accounts. I tweaked the recipe from French foodie epicenter, Trois Fois Par Jour (her cook book is coming out in English in October!). The recipe is more of a guideline, since tartar can be altered a million ways.

Here's the basics.
  1.  You must start with super fresh salmon! A fish monger is a necessity. The pre-packaged salmon from the grocery store won't be fresh enough. Look for sushi-grade if possible. Locals, there are several fish mongers on ave du Parc, where we go, but also check Jean-Talon or Atwater market. 
  2. You need mayonnaise. We get this jalapeno and lime mayonnaise from Costco that is to die for. Japanese or sushi mayonnaise is often available at any grocery store, and that would work too.
  3. Flavours that accentuate salmon need to be subtle, because the taste of fresh, raw salmon is truly enough on it's own! Chives and minced onion are perfect.
  4. You need a crunch. Panko bread crumbs are awesome on their own, but if you have time put them in a frying pan with some olive oil, garlic, and salt and let them get even crunchier!
  5. The salmon must be cut really small. If you don't have a reliable knife, Audrey recommended putting the fish in the freezer for a few minutes so it's slightly more firm, which would make cutting easier. 
In a large bowl, gently combine the diced salmon, minced chives and green onion, a few quirts of Sriracha or Tabasco (I prefer the former), a bit of mayonnaise (start with a table spoon and work your way up, depending on how much salmon you have and how creamy you want the tartar), and a handful of panko crumbs. Once it's combined you can alter the tartar however you'd like in flavour. To serve, I just divided the bowl in half on two plates and formed the tartar with clean hands. Top with a chive, because you're fancy with your $6 salmon tartar!


  1. Love this. I am so glad you posted on how to create this meal. I love to order it when I go out and now I will make it myself whenever I want. I will be trying this tonight and see if I can make it work. I find that I would rather cook for myself than go out mostly.

    Cristopher @ Lamoraga Restaurant

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